Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart warned the Obama administration Thursday against blocking next month's elections in Honduras -- suggesting the White House might consider military action against the Central American country.
"The only thing that could stop those elections is a military action ordered by President Obama. We are watching," Diaz-Balart said at a press conference where congressional Republicans called for an investigation into what they suggested were U.S. State Department improprieties related to the crisis. "Each day, there are more and more members of Congress and more people within the nation aware of this nation aware of this issue and supportive of the right of the people of Honduras to have elections. It would be unconscionable if President Obama ordered a military action to prevent an election, to impose a crony of Chavez, Castro, Ortega, et al. Congress is watching."
Asked by reporters to clarify, Diaz-Balart said he wasn't saying it was going to happen, "I'm saying if that happened...I certainly hope that will not happen because the people of Honduras deserve to have their elections."
Looks like much of the dispute may be moot. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suggests a deal has been struck to resolve the dispute. But not without the critics of Obama's policy in Honduras winning won one of the battles: Congress' in-house Law Library rebuffed calls from the chairmen of the House and Senate foreign relations committees to retract a report on the military-backed coup in Honduras that the chairmen charge is flawed and "has contributed to the political crisis that still wracks'' the country.
The request, by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., sparked cries of censorship from Republicans who say the Democrats don't like what the August report said: that the government of Honduras had the authority to remove deposed president Manuel Zelaya from office.
"They're trying to manipulate the legal division to suit their ideological and partisan views,'' said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who Wednesday hosted a Capitol Hill briefing with business owners from Honduras who said the turmoil is hurting the country's tourism industry.
"I don't think they'd have any problem with the report if it had concluded that Kerry and Berman's position was the right one.''